A Call for Feedback: Burning Man’s New Five-Year BLM Permit

One side of the Burning Man world that participants rarely have a chance to …well…participate in, is the permitting process we go through to have our event on federal, public land.  Well, here is your chance.

2010 marks the last year of Burning Man’s current 5-year Special Recreation Permit from the Bureau of Land Management. Currently, Black Rock City, LLC is applying for a new five-year permit to hold the event from 2011-2015. The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comments as part of the process of issuing the new permit. A record of documented, positive and constructive comments from persons or organizations within the Burning Man community will help BLM in reaching its decision.

In particular, as BLM’s role is to protect public land and those that use it,  the positive impacts of Burning Man on the greater public, such as economic benefits to Northern Nevada, or  education about Leave No Trace and other environmental messaging, would be most helpful. So if you’re part of a charity, business or other organization that benefits from the Burning Man event, then we encourage you to contribute to the decision-making process.  Also, if you’ve learned environmental stewardship, the value of volunteering, or any of the other infinite ways that Burning Man changes people’s lives positively then please let your voice be heard. Please note that though we wholeheartedly agree, comments such as “Burning Man is cool,” or “I love Burning Man,” won’t really add much to the information, and will inadvertently cause more work for BLM in the public comment process. In addition, this is not the right forum for commenting on BLM Law Enforcement at Burning Man, but if you would like to do so, please email legal@burningman.com.  We want everyone’s voice to be heard, but we also want to be efficient about getting the right kind of information to the BLM. Please respect the valuable time that BLM is putting into this formidable project, in an effort to listen to the voices of the people we have affected.

If you would like to submit a written comment then please do so by December 13th. Letters can be sent to:Cory Roegner, Attn: Burning Man Permit Renewal, BLM Black Rock Field Office, 5100 E. Winnemucca Blvd., Winnemucca, NV 89445-2921. Or via email to wfoweb@nv.blm.gov.  Please be sure to put “Burning Man Permit Renewaql (Roegner)” in the subject line.

There will also be three public meetings in Northern Nevada, hosted by BLM. For more information on the meetings, as well as the permit process in general please visit: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/wfo/blm_information/nepa0/recreation/burning_man.html

About the author: MachineGun Lily

MachineGun Lily (aka Lily Rasel) works on Burning Man's Government Relations, Legal Affairs and External Relations Teams, and (because Burners are nothing if not versatile) lays out the Black Rock City plan in CAD. An accomplished fire performer, she publishes Kindle Magazine, and is currently attending UC Berkeley's Boalt Law School.

6 Comments on “A Call for Feedback: Burning Man’s New Five-Year BLM Permit

  • Stu says:

    I’ve got a question: It’s reported that the new permit request targets a participant ceiling of 60,000.

    We have a pretty tough time getting 50,000 people off the playa, even with the new system put in place this year.

    How are we gonna handle a 20% increase? Are there any options to add an exit road that lets us bypass Gerlach and Empire?

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  • Grego says:

    It doesn’t seem there were any calls for feedback on the playa location itself. With the ongoing, year-after-year problems with both Nevada and federal policing agencies, when will Burning Man move to private land, preferably within California? It would mean an end to the infrared goggles, the extra-weak-cause personal searches, the “I smelled something and now I’m searching your entire camp” fiascos, the continual NHP harassment of burners on the way to and from the event, the undercovers trying to entrap us (“Hey, got anything green I can buy?” happened several times in our camp this year), and all the other bullshit that we-the-taxpayers and we-the-attendees must pay to inflict upon ourselves.

    I love the Black Rock playa, but the police presence has become ridiculous and it’s time for a change.

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  • EyeDrops says:

    Yes, move the event. I say to the Alvord Desert. Its just like the current playa, not in Nevada (its in Oregon) and still in the middle of nowhere.

    Getting busted for petty stuff sucks and we are tired of it!


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  • Jon Mitchell says:

    Come on, fellas. There has to be a speed limit, hasn’t there?

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  • EyeDrops, you should totally start your own Burning Man Regional there. Back to the basics I say!

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  • Biff says:

    Such negativity, perhaps the fault is on your end. I’ve been four years now and have NEVER had a problem, not with law enforcement going to and from, nor at the event. I’ve known people to get busted for pot, but they were doing it right in the open. DUH!! Burning man is on public land, maybe it can be moved, I don’t know but for christ sake, stop whining or stop going. It’s the single most awesome thing you’ll ever experience your whole life.

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